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Enough With the Kobe Talk

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Oct 18, 2007 12:29PM

You know it's a slow sports week in town when columnists from the big newspapers start sounding like the drunk guy at the corner bar yelling at the TV during the game, certain he could assemble a better team than the one that management has put together. So who is their target?

In his column today Mike Downey follows Jay Mariotti in demanding that the Bulls need to trade for Kobe Bryant.

There has been much speculation that the Lakers' star is once again disgruntled, had sat out of practice by "mutual agreement" with coach Phil Jackson, and even rumors he had cleaned out his locker. So it sounds like his departure from La La Land is imminent, right?

And if we look back to the last round of rumors, we see lots of insinuation that he'd want to end up in Chicago whenever he left LA.

While it's nice to be wanted, do the Bulls have the components to trade for the superstar and his $19 million contract? He's possibly the best player in the NBA and Lakers owner Jerry Buss has said that while he'd listen to offers for Kobe, he expects to get equal talent in return. The NBA's salary cap makes things even harder.

With the Bulls over the cap, they would have to send salaries within 25% plus $100,000 of Kobe's—about $14 million. The only Bulls with contracts over $5 million are Kirk Hinrich, Andres Nocioni, Joe Smith and Ben Wallace. Nocioni and Smith can't be traded because they just signed new deals. Hinrich's $11 million deal only counts 50% because of the Base Year Compensation rule. That means that unless the Bulls include Wallace, they'd need to send five players to the Lakers in return for Kobe. Would they really be better off with Kobe on the team, but also 4 guys who should be in the CBA to round out the roster? We think not.